Budget woes may mute Jubilee celebrations

Dec. 30, 2011 at 2:14 AM

LONDON, Dec. 30 (UPI) -- English local governments are planning muted celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee because of budget problems, a survey says.

Republic, a group advocating for abolition of the monarchy, queried more than 250 local councils on how much they plan to spend and what they plan to do, The Guardian reported. Planting trees in the queen's honor and renaming playing fields after her appear to be popular choices.

In Bradford, the municipal council said its Jubilee activities would consist of "(re-branding) existing events."

The queen is the second British monarch to make it to the 60-year mark. The Diamond Jubilee of her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, was celebrated with great festivities in 1897.

Some elaborate displays are being planned, especially in towns with royal ties. London Mayor Boris Johnson said the cost of a 1,000-boat flotilla down the Thames escorting the queen in a golden barge will be covered by private donations.

Graham Smith, a Republic spokesman, said spending money on the Jubilee is inexcusable when services are being cut. He praised local officials "for resisting pressure from the palace and reflecting the mood of the nation, most of whom are not remotely interested in the jubilee."

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